Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore- Buy a Book for Christmas #Mystery Series – Mary Anne Edwards, Diana J. Febry, Judy Penz Sheluk and Toni Pike

Christmas book suggestions.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Time for some more book gift ideas from the Cafe and Bookstore and here is a selection of novels that any book lover would enjoy. As always when there is a series I will share book one and that is the case for the first author Mary Anne Edwards and The Charlie McLung Mysteries... Here is the first book in the series – Brilliant Disguise.

About the book

Are you sure you could tell the difference between murder and suicide?

Having had more than enough of the big city, Detective Charlie McClung moves to a small town looking for a simpler life. Turns out his first case is the most complicated of his career.

A young woman is found shot and while everyone is telling him suicide, his gut, and the dead woman’s beautiful neighbor, are telling him something quite different.

How far can he dig before he…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas #Memoirs – Brigid P. Gallagher, Chuck Jackson, Karen Ingalls and D.G. Kaye

Some suggestions for your Christmas reading, or gift ideas!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Today I am featuring some of the memoirs in the Cafe and Bookstore. Until the publishing revolution which gave back the power to writers.. memoirs were tell-all stories, often ghost written, by the rich and infamous. Today we can all tell our stories, and these true experiences are invaluable to others who may have gone through something similar. From overcoming disease, abuse, life threatening events, these memoirs inspire, inform and encourage others to speak out or to accept that they are not alone and help is available.

Memoirs can be tough to read, but so many of us carry a burden that we would like to lay down, and discovering other’s courage can help us do that.

The first memoir is by Brigid P. Gallagher and shares her experiences and also strategies to overcome chronic illness in Watching for the Daisies.

About the book

Millions of people around the world…

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The Midsomer work camp

I’m sure all the Midsomer Murders aficionados out there will understand that Inspector Barnaby would lament the demise of this admirable institution on his patch (and rue its subsequent use).


You might realise by now that I enjoy a bit of crime fiction, and that includes a taste for Midsomer Murders, even though it is way past its peak as a more or less gentle mockery of middle class manners. Midsomer doesn’t exist, of course, but its county capital, Cawston, is largely filmed in the Thames Valley market town of Wallingford. And Wallingford, as well as being the fictional home of many a murderous snob with status anxieties, has a history.


In 1911, the Christian Social Union, effectively the social service arm of the Congregationalist and Presbyterian Churches, purchased a farm near Wallingford for use as a labour colony. The Congregationalists viewed social service as a form of missionary work, a view articulated particularly by the Nottingham minister John Brown Paton, who helped popularise in Britain the ideas of the Lutheran Pastor von Bodelschwingh, who had launched an elaborate system…

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Danger by Association Giveaway

Win a paperback thriller!

Heather Burnside Author

Next month is the last of my giveaways for paperback copies of The Riverhill Trilogy. Big congratulations to those of you who have already won signed copies of Slur and A Gangster’s Grip.

If you didn’t win a copy, don’t worry, you can still be in with a chance of winning a signed, original copy of Danger by Association.

Readers will be notified by newsletter of how to enter the giveaway. To receive my newsletters you will need to sign up to my mailing list by following the link: Heather’s Readers. It’s quick and easy to sign up and means you will also be amongst the first readers to find out about new releases and special offers.

Bye for now and good luck.


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Murderous learning – more reflections on adult education in crime fiction

Can adult education have a sinister side?



Recently I’ve been enjoying a crime novel by an Irish writer, Tana French. The Trespasser is set in Dublin, and its central character is Antoinette Conway, a hard-boiled murder squad detective of mixed race. The novel is interesting on belonging, family, gender, low-level racism, and internal hierarchies in the police. And it also touches upon adult education.

Aislinn, the murder victim, is described as a serial attender of evening classes. The detectives draw up a list of all the classes she took with a view to checking out ‘all the other students or whatever they call them’, a lead they pursue by looking though her financial records for fee payments.

I’d wondered whether this meant that the murder turned on an evening class, which would have been mightily entertaining. But no; Antoinette describes the list of evening classes as ‘depressing as hell’:

Aislinn genuinely paid actual money for a…

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